News & Politics

Covington Bishop Says He Was 'Bullied' Into Condemning Teens

Bishop Roger Joseph Foys of the Diocese of Covington apologized to Catholic families and the teens who were confronted by a Native American elder and then wrongly accused of racism, saying he was “bullied and pressured” into making a premature statement.


“We are sorry that this situation has caused such disruption in the lives of so many. We apologize to anyone who has been offended in any way by either of our statements which were made with good will based on the information we had,” Foys wrote in the letter. “We should not have allowed ourselves to be bullied and pressured into making a statement prematurely, and we take full responsibility for it.” Foys wrote that he wanted to “especially apologize” to Nicholas Sandmann, who was featured most prominently in the video. “I especially apologize to Nicholas Sandmann and his family as well as to all CovCath families who have felt abandoned during this ordeal,” Foys wrote. “Nicholas unfortunately has become the face of these allegations based on video clips. This is not fair. It is not just.”

Foys was not “bullied and pressured” by anyone into making a false, scurrilous statement. In fact, he was the one wanting to do the bullying and pressuring. Eager to show solidarity with the howling mob and demonstrate his superior morality to his flock (as well as flash his anti-Trump bona fides), the bishop, with great alacrity, joined the outrage brigades and tore into the kids he should have been defending:

“We condemn the actions of the Covington Catholic High School students towards Nathan Phillips specifically, and Native Americans in general, Jan. 18, after the March for Life, in Washington, D.C.,” the diocese said in a statement released almost immediately after the incident.

It added, “We extend our deepest apologies to Mr. Phillips. This behavior is opposed to the Church’s teachings on the dignity and respect of the human person.”

He might have said at the outset that “the diocese was looking carefully at the incident and would take appropriate action against the students if any was warranted.” But in today’s political environment, that simply wasn’t hateful enough. He might have been criticized for being fair. So Foys threw the kids — his own kids — under the bus.

He also could have “unapologized” to Nathan Phillips, but that might have been seen as a racist gesture. No guts in this guy at all.